While Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor will certainly leave her mark on the Supreme Court, she’s also making an impact on children throughout the world as a best-selling author.
Sotomayor is the writer of several children’s books that tackle real issues of racism, financial struggle and illness. Turning Pages, The Beloved World of Sonia Sotomayor and her latest book, Just Ask! Be Different, Be Brave, Be You, all have a piece of Sotomayor’s real-life challenges intertwined.
Just Ask, was inspired by Sotomayor’s life-long struggle with diabetes. Diagnosed with juvenile diabetes, Sotomayor learned to give herself insulin shots. She hid her illness for a large part of her life. In her early thirties, when someone saw her giving herself a shot in a restaurant bathroom and assumed she was a drug addict, it had a profound effect on her.
Sotomayor realized often misunderstood differences cause divides between people.
In her new book for children ages four through eight, Sotomayor encourages children to ask other kids or adults about their differences, rather than making assumptions.
“Differences provide not just beauty in life, but they’re important to the quality of the world we live in,” Sotomayor said in an interview with the Associated Press. “It’s richer because of our differences. We’re not lesser because of it. We’re stronger because of it. My book celebrates the many ways in which kids and adults are different and do things differently.”
Sotomayor has written several books over the last few years and believes she will continue to do so. Citing her desire to inspire the next generation of children, she says, “I truly believe that if I can inspire the younger generation to see themselves as positive agents for change… I will leave a more lasting legacy than what I can do as a judge.”